GWS a taboo word for Demons coach Bailey
Melbourne coach Dean Bailey says Greater Western Sydney remains a taboo topic in his conversations with Demons star youngster Tom Scully.
The 20-year-old could play his first AFL game of the season as early as round 11 against Essendon, depending on how he copes when he returns from a knee injury through the VFL this weekend.
While that will help ease the Demons’ long list of injury worries, they will still have to contend all year with the speculation over the midfielder’s future.
Scully, the 2009 No.1 draft pick, has delayed contract talks until the end of the season and been unable to shake speculation he could join the AFL’s 18th club when they enter the competition next year.
Before the season began, Scully publicly denied he had already reached agreement with GWS.
But Bailey said he had never broached the topic with his star charge.
“I’ve never spoken to Tom about (GWS),” the Demons coach told reporters on Thursday.
“I’ve only ever spoken to Tom, and I talk to Tom regularly, about his future at the Melbourne Football Club and how important he is now and for the future.
“I don’t get drawn into the speculation, I don’t get drawn into the three letters, GWS, at all.
“My focus is making sure he becomes a Melbourne player for as long as he can.
“It’s pretty simple how I approach him and talk to him, absolutely. He’s a very, very loyal person, Tommy.”
Adelaide coach Neil Craig has the same approach with his club’s GWS target, out-of-favour key forward Taylor Walker.
Craig said the speculation over Walker’s future would make it a tough season for the 21-year-old.
But the coach said the forward had not helped his cause by being spotted having a beer in the stands during the curtain-raiser to Saturday’s Port Adelaide-Fremantle clash at AAMI Stadium.
While Walker, who was listed as an emergency for the Crows’ game against Collingwood the following day, had not been due to travel with the team, Craig said the incident brought unwanted attention and pressure.
“In terms of perception I can’t defend it, because it’s a bad look,” Craig said.
“The key issue here is the place in which he was doing it was what has caused the majority of comment.
“The other slight issue that I spoke to him about was there was a very slim chance that he could have been required to play, and he should have maybe thought that one through.”
Walker, overlooked at selection by the Crows for the past two rounds, was also found not guilty of charging at the SANFL Tribunal on Tuesday night.
“It has been a tough week for him,” Craig said.
“And it will probably continue to be a tough year for him, I would think, in terms of the publicity – whether he’s playing with us, whether he’s not playing with us, Greater Western Sydney.
“But he and his management would understand that was always going to be the situation. That is probably no different to Scully.”© AAP 2013